Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art Launches Campaign with $1 million Gift from The Audain Foundation

by NationTalk on November 14, 20071045 Views

VANCOUVER, Nov. 14 – The announcement today of a $1 million gift from The Audain Foundation has launched the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art into the spotlight as the Gallery prepares to open to the public on May 10, 2008. When Bill Reid died in 1998, Canadians lost an extraordinary artist. Turning grief into positive action, the Bill Reid Foundation was created the next year with a mission to preserve the art and perpetuate the legacies of Bill Reid. In 2002, Dr. Martine Reid gifted, via donation and public subscription, the Bill Reid Collection to the Bill Reid Foundation. In September, the Bill Reid Foundation secured a home for the Collection when the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art became the successful applicant for the City of Vancouver cultural amenity space located at 639 Hornby Street.

This important gift from The Audain Foundation will enable the Bill Reid Foundation to restore 639 Hornby Street to its intended use as a public gallery. The opening exhibition – Bill Reid: Master of Haida Art will be a celebration of Bill Reid’s journey as an artist using works drawn primarily from the Bill Reid Foundation Collection. Dr. George MacDonald, President of the Bill Reid Foundation will curate the exhibition: “I can not think of a place better suited to the exhibitions of contemporary Northwest Coast native art that we are planning,” says MacDonald. “Bill Reid: Master of Haida Art will be a bit of a homecoming, as many pieces in our collection are better known abroad.”

“Michael Audain has had a lifelong interest in the visual arts and in particular, the aboriginal art of the Northwest Coast of North America. His gift to the Bill Reid Gallery graphically attests to that interest, not only for the preservation of the past but as encouragement for present and future artists,” said Don Shumka, Chair of the British Columbia Arts Council.

Located just a block from the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art shares 639 Hornby Street with the SFU Bill Reid Centre of NWC Art Studies and the Chief Dan George Centre. The Bill Reid Gallery is an initiative of the Bill Reid Foundation.

For more information on exhibitions, or for photos of the new gallery visit

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Melanie Thompson, (604) 224-6201

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